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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

ARIZONA EMPLOYERS SUING OVER NEW ENFORCEMENT LAW

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The governor of Arizona recently signed legislation that would revoke the business license of an employer found to have hired illegal aliens. Employers are now suing the state on the ground that the US Constitution leaves immigration enforcement to the federal government and states may not assume that role.

The suit will no doubt be closely filed because laws like the one passed in Arizona are being passed in legislatures across the US and are expected to accelerate in the wake of Congress' failure to pass an immigration bill this year.

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  1. Jun's Avatar
    I read somewhere that 'Illegal workers' are now trying to establish their own company. This way, their employers, now their "client" cannot be sued of hiring "illegals" as employee...what a clever way to circumvent the new law. If they can come here risking their lives across the borders, then they can risk their lives whatever law there is against them.

    The lesson here is that no matter what law there is against illegal immigrants, it will not stop them from coming. The hardship they are facing here in the US is nothing compared back home. The problem is not here in the US, but the poverty back in their home country.

  2. In Immigration Limbo's Avatar
    Hmmm... Employers suing the state so that they can continue breaking the law by hiring people without proper work authorization. The States are left holding the bag when it comes to the financial costs of illegal immigration, but are powerless to do anything about it. So basically these employers are suing for the "right" to break the law. Curiouser and curiouser.

    This could have far reaching effects. In Arizona, you have to prove that you are legally in the U.S. to get a drivers license, could this be thrown out also?
  3. Jun's Avatar
    The irony is:

    "Illegal immigrants" are clearly "intending immigrants" while "legal non-immigrants" are NOT "intending immigrants".

    Some "legal non-immigrants" are secretly "intending immigrants" hiding under the "non-immigrant" status.
  4. anon's Avatar
    Smart law. Great means of enforcement. It sounds constitutional, and should work. Arizona is regulating commerce, not immigration. The provisions are directed at employers, not people.
  5. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    The issue isn't whether the policy is good or bad. It is whether it is legal. The Constitution bars states from regulating immigration law. If the Congress has failed to deal satisfactorily with this, then state governments have to rely on voters to punish members of Congress and the President for their failure to deal with the problem.
  6. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    I think a case of this sort will likely make it to the Supreme Court in the near future and the matter will be settled.
  7. anon's Avatar
    I think the Constitutional question is something the Supreme Court will ultimately decide.

    If you said that states cannot enforce immigration laws, I would agree. States should not actively engage in immigration raids, but they could hand over violators to federal authorities if they had them in custody for other reasons.

    If you said that states cannot require companies to follow federal immigration laws as a condition for establishing or continuing a business license I would not agree. I believe that states have a right to regulate commerce.

    Let's see what the Supreme Court says. That will be interesting as to which way they rule.
  8. Jun's Avatar
    Finding out the 'immigration status' of your employees is not about 'commerce'. How about your 'customers'? Do you also need to find out their immigration status before you serve them?
  9. anon's Avatar
    "Finding out the 'immigration status' of your employees is not about 'commerce'. "

    What if the state finds out because of findings by the federal government? They don't need to actively investigate. Should the USCIS discover illegally employed workers and that the employer knew about the practice, the state could then act based upon these findings.

    I'm not sure how the state plans on enforcing the law. Does anyone know?
  10. Jun's Avatar
    The employer cannot validate the immigration status of its employees. Knowingly hiring illegal immigrants is 'illegal'. Employers usually are not aware that their employees are 'illegals' as most 'illegals' just put in their status as 'US citizen'.

  11. anon's Avatar
    "Employers usually are not aware that their employees are 'illegals' as most 'illegals' just put in their status as 'US citizen'."

    Wait a second - there is the voluntary system to verify social security numbers. It isn't as if employers have no means to prevent mistakes from being made.

    Given that there is this system in place, employers should be using it.

    Employers, and farmers especially, are aware what is going on. What a silly notion that they are being tricked into hiring people illegally!!!

    Don't insult the intelligence of the people reading this blog.
  12. Jun's Avatar
    Just as I always maintained, people are innocent unless proven guilty.

    Don't you know that verifying status using SSN is not a fool-proof system?


  13. IsNotNull's Avatar
    You're not so bright yourself, 'canon'. This whole charade of "not knowing who is illegal" is the way these employers "don't break the law" so that they can get the people they need. Are you willing to go pick up tomatoes (I assume you are legal) and other vegetables on the fields? Perhaps somebody you know, a friend, relative? What intelligence is there to insult?
  14. In Immigration Limbo's Avatar
    The U.S. needs a guest worker program. CIR had some crazy program where people could only come for a few years which of course makes it guaranteed to fail. Canada seems to get the workers they need in an orderly and legal fashion and the workers can go back to their homes and families without fear when the work is done.

    http://www.americas.org/item_26359
  15. Concerned farmer's Avatar
    I am very concerned about a guest worker program. The way it works now is better for me because if you start legalizing the Mexicans here, I won't be able to find someone to work in our fields. Many of the Mexican workers are already finding higher paying jobs in construction.

    What are we farmers suppose to do if the government starts legalizing everyone?
  16. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Concerned farmer - You guys may catch a break since it looks like the AgJobs legalization program would be the first thing to be passed, perhaps as early as this week in the Senate. I expect to blog on this very soon.
  17. Concerned farmer's Avatar
    That is good. I am hopeful that the sponsorship provisions will remain. If they are able to hop from employer to employer, that puts us at a disadvantage.

    It is much better if we are able to prevent them from hopping jobs. Allowing that type of movement would result in higher wages, which none of us want.
  18. Malbin's Avatar
    The employers are asking the District Court to prevent the Arizona Governor and Attorney General from enforcing the law but the Governor has already requested the Legislature to meet in the fall in order to correct any shortcomings. The employers that brought the case seem shortsighted since the suit may educate the legislature and the Governor on how to make the needed fixes. A copy of the complaint can be viewed online at http://www.messinglawoffices.com
  19. 's Avatar
    allowing illegal immigration is destroying families in Mexico leaving hundreds of thousands of children with out a father and eventually without support when their dads find a girlfriend moves in with her and forgets his wife and children he left behind, it is completely immoral to allow them to come illegally or remain here because " we don't want to be inhumane" send them all home to raise their children that they have abandoned no wonder there is so many poor in Mexico we are helping them punish by permitting illegals to stay in this country
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